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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

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"Countdown" Part 2
Star Trek: Countdown #2 (IDW)
Story: Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman
Writers: Mike Johnson & Tim Jones
Artist: David Messina
Cover by David Messina
February 2009

 

With an Enterprise escort, Spock and Nero head for Vulcan to seek help from the Science Academy on converting their decalithium into red matter to stop the Hobus star.

 

Read the full story summary of this issue at Memory Alpha

 

Didja Notice?

 

This issue opens on stardate 64390.1.

 

On page 4, Spock introduces Nero to Captain Data and Nero is immediately shocked to see that the Federation has a captain who is a machine. But how does he know Data is a machine? Outwardly, there is nothing to indicate he is an android rather than just an unknown type of alien. Does Data's fame as an android precede him even into the mining community of the Romulan Empire?

 

On page 7, after he has retired to his cabin on the Enterprise, Nero tries to access various Starfleet data on the computer. Looking through the records of past Enterprise captains, he calls up an image of Captain Kirk and it is the face of actor William Shatner we see, not Chris Pine.

 

On page 10, panel 1, there appears to be a painting of an animal hanging on the wall of Captain Data's ready room. Possibly the painting is of Data's cat, Spot.

 

Also on page 10, Spock remarks to Data that the two of them share a unique experience, i.e. returning from the dead. The original Data was destroyed in the 2002 film Star Trek Nemesis but his neural net was successfully imprinted beforehand on the android B-4. Spock, of course, died in the 1982 film Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and resurrected in 1984's Star Trek: The Search for Spock.

 

On page 12, panel 2, "Romulus" is misspelled as "Romulas".

 

On page 15, panel 3, the Vulcan guards are seen carrying the ceremonial weapon called a lirpa, first seen in the Star Trek TV episode "Amok Time".

 

Page 16 reveals that the Federation ambassador to Vulcan is now Jean-Luc Picard.

 

As the story moves forward, the danger presented by the Hobus star seems to grow in the telling. In "Countdown" Part 1, Spock first tells the Romulan Senate the impending supernova of the star threatens the Romulan Empire. Later in that same issue he suggests its a threat to the galaxy. Addressing the Vulcan Science Council on page 18 of this issue, Spock tells them it threatens the entire universe (although in "Countdown" Part 3 he speaks of it again in only galactic terms). The partial explanation is that the supernova is growing in mass as it absorbs planets and other material in its death throws, though why this star is behaving so much differently than a typical one is not explained.

 

On page 20, after the Vulcan Science Council refuses to give the Romulans access to their science to stop the Hobus star, Nero warns Spock that if Romulus dies he will hold Vulcan responsible. This foreshadows Nero's use of red matter to destroy the planet Vulcan in "The Vengeance of Nero".

 

The spaceship model seen in Ambassador Picard's quarters on Vulcan on page 22 is the Enterprise-D. 

 

The small servant robot seen in the bottom-right corner of panel 2 on page 22 is the Bad Robot mascot of Bad Robot Productions, the production company of current Star Trek executive producer J.J. Abrams!

 

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